The Office of the Attorney General works to ensure that senior Texans receiving long-term care are treated with respect and dignity. Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as seniors who receive long-term care in their homes, are entitled to live in an environment that is free of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Nursing homes and other long-term care providers are regulated by the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities (DADS). DADS licenses and inspects these facilities, which must meet stringent health and safety standards to maintain their good standing to provide long-term care in Texas.
Seniors or families with complaints about long-term care providers in Texas can contact DADS at (800) 458-9858 or e-mail CRSComplaints@dads.state.tx.us. DADS has the authority to investigate these complaints.
If a person complains about poor care, or if a family member speaks up about poor conditions at a facility, it is illegal for the nursing home or any of its employees to intimidate or retaliate in any way against the resident or the family. A nursing home must have an effective procedure for receiving and responding to complaints.
If the DADS investigation finds that a long-term provider cannot or will not correct an unsatisfactory condition or has violated standards, DADS may refer the matter to the Office of the Attorney General for civil legal action, which may include closing down a facility, placing it in receivership or removing residents.
In addition, the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has authority to investigate and prosecute cases involving possible criminal abuse, neglect or exploitation of residents in Medicaid-funded long-term care facilities. Possible criminal abuse, neglect or financial exploitation can be reported by calling (512) 463-2011, or toll-free (800) 252-8011, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a family member in long-term care and you suspect a problem, discuss the matter with the administrator of the nursing home, assisted living facility or home health agency. If you are aware of a specific act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, you are required by law to report it. If the victim is in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or is in his or her home and using a home health agency, call the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services at (800) 458-9858. Otherwise, call Adult Protective Services at (800) 252-5400.